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Paul Felder plans to make 155 pounds for UFC 242 in case Nurmagomedov, Poirier can't

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Paul Felder almost got the chance of a lifetime in April 2018, but the New York State Athletic Commission got in the way.

Come Sept. 7, when he shares a card with lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and interim champ Dustin Poirier, he once again will be ready to step in should one of the main-event fighters fall out.

Nurmagomedov takes on Poirier in a title unification headliner at UFC 242 at The Arena t Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. Felder (16-4 MMA, 8-4 UFC) will rematch Edson Barboza in the co-main event.

At UFC 223, Tony Ferguson was forced out of his lightweight title fight against Nurmagomedov just days before the fight. The UFC was in dire need of a replacement.


Khabib Nurmagomedov: Dustin Poirier tough, 'but this guy not on my level'

Tony Ferguson 'getting bored' at lightweight but ready to replace Khabib or Poirier at UFC 242

Featherweight champion Max Holloway got the call, but was deemed medically unfit. Also competing at UFC 223 was Felder, who was scheduled to take on Al Iaquinta. When news emerged that Holloway couldn’t compete, Felder threw his hat in the ring.

But the NYSAC put a halt on his opportunity since he was an unranked fighter. His opponent, Iaquinta, got the call, which left Felder with no opponent. Ultimately, he was removed from the card.

Now ranked in the top 10 of the UFC’s lightweight rankings, Felder said he will make sure to weigh in at championship weight, 155 pounds or less, just in case he gets the chance to step in at UFC 242.

When he got the call from his manager that he’d be fighting halfway across the world in Abu Dhabi, Felder was excited.

“A co-main event with Khabib and Poirier headlining? The answer is yes,” Felder told MMA Junkie Radio (go to the 1:45:35 mark in the video above). “I’ll be making 155 pounds for weigh-ins. Of course.”

For more on UFC 242, check out the MMA schedule.

MMA Junkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia, Brian “Goze” Garcia and Dan Tom. For more information or to download past episodes, go to http://www.mmajunkie.com/radio. You can also check out http://www.siriusxm.com/siriusxmfightnation.


Paul Felder def. James Vick at UFC on ESPN 1: Best photos

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